Hang the stockings

Tradition monition

On the first day of Christmas this year my true love gave to me…

A few hours of labor as he turned the frame of the closet door around so that the door swings into the closet. For the past 18 years it has swung into the bedroom and always been a source of “ouchies” for me. Since we are not big at hanging all of our clothing, we use a set of dresser drawers for most of our clothing, it just makes sense to turn the door in. Of course I did not think of this when we redid the flooring in the bedroom. So it was a bit of a trick to remove the whole frame in tack and replace it at a complete 180. We also did not have the queen sized bed and an extra large dog mattress taking up so much of the floor space. A third of a foot of floor space makes a big difference now. Thanks truelove!

This past week I learned it really is true that a rescue dog loves you more. My phone did it’s lovely update thing and now I have Googledrive photos on it. In one of the albums it has full collections of facial recognitions from the pictures I have taken. There is a full album of Seymour. He was the rescue dog that after two years of discovering so many familiy members were allergic to him, we re-homed to another family. He is happy. Many days I still miss him. He was very grateful and loving. It makes me feel like a traitor at times. But he walked away with his new boy with such confidence and solid affection that my guilt is gone quickly.

Honey does not take pictures well. I had to put peanut butter on my finger and hand onto her collar and threaten her with a hot dog stuffed with a pill just to get this picture. She does not like the phone. Especially when the phone is on speaker and the “ghost” of the person is in the room… She gets highly agitated and has to leave the house. She is highly demanding of attention and cannot bear to think why anyone will not do her bidding. Nevertheless, she has not become the service dog that I had hoped and instead I have become her servant-opening and closing the doors at her command.

Christmas is now less than three weeks away. We have the stockings draped about the base of the tree this year. In all my life there has never been a place to hang the stockings. We had wood stoves and brick walls behind them but they were for utility. Stockings are a fire hazard. The only time the socks were next to the stove was after my feet were frozen from doing paper route in the winter time. I would try to warm my toes and my wet socks and get the feeling back while hugging the heat that blew out from the underbelly fan on the stove. My husband, however, grew up with wide fireplace that had stockings velcro-ed to the bricks at Christmas. The stockings were not stuffed and they were not used.

While the girls were home, we stuffed a stocking. A store bought red velvet soft one was used to hold gum, breath mints, chap stick, and gift cards. Sometimes there was an orange, a pair of socks, or a pomegranate. But there was never a very good spot to hang the stockings. I tried the window sill, the china hutch, the book shelves, the railing on the steps. Why are we trying to hang the stockings by the chimney with care, if we don’t have one?

So this year I say…

Hang The Stockings!

I mean “hang the stockings! Christmas is going to have to be done OUR way. Why do I keep trying to do things the way other people do things. Where is the fun and joy of doing Christmas that way that I can do Christmas with what I have?


Here’s an example or two.

My dad put up Christmas lights on his new covered porch. My dad is blind. He has never decorated for Christmas. We never put up lights outside when I was growing up. Why did he have his friend take him shopping, and then hang the lights around the porch when he can’t see the lights? Because he is telling the neighbors that the spirit of Christmas is alive in him. The automatic timer tells his neighbors that joy of Christmas is for them. It is what he can give to the kids at the school that are leaving a basketball game. The twinkling of a lit porch. Giving at Christmas comes in so many different shapes and sizes.

My cousin does not have grandkids, but she works at a day care. She loves those kiddies and enjoys making crafts with them. Yet she is decorating her house for Christmas and having people over. She has not decorated for years, because no comes to see it. She decided to decorate for herself and her husband. Cleaning and finding room for the nativity and the tree. Christmas for her is new and fresh this year.

There is an elderly lady at my church (no names mentioned as there a quite a few of them). This particular one will not have any company over the holiday and will go to her granddaughter’s house in a nearby town. Yet she put out a little ceramic Christmas tree on her table in the window. Just to remind herself and the passersby what time of year this is… Christmas her own way.

So here’s my tradition monition: Hang the stocking and do Christmas to your own ability, in your own way. I am not an episcopal prophet or a Biblical nay-sayer, a seer, or a preacher. I am just telling myself what I should have told myself years ago. If you don’t have a fireplace or mantel, don’t hang the stockings. It just makes you and your hubby dear sad that you gave up the fireplace you built 22 years ago in the house that you sold SAD. Don’t remind yourself of what you Do Not Have. Think about what you Do Have.

Hang the stocking

Out on the washline

Use a clothespin

Or just nail it to the tree in the yard

Hang the stocking

Santa Claus only comes to town


That’s what the song says

Hang the stocking

Why should I care

Iffen we don’t do the Santa thing


Hang the stocking

As long as we can sit

At the table for a meal

To gather together and

Tell stories with laughter

Hang the stocking

Reading the story from Luke

And give up fairy tale flukes

Santa Claus is for the world

The baby in the manger is for me

Hang the stocking

Give up false hope

Put up true faith

Show off real love

–written this day December 6, 2019 by Yvonne Annette

P. S. I am really not trying to be Scrooge or bah, hum, bug! I am only trying to help myself get over the fact that life does not always hand us pretty pictures of “stockings all hung by the chimney with care.” This year my brother-in-law will be celebrating Christmas without his dad for the first time. My sister-in-law is walking through the valley with her dear sister. My nephew is still going through one monthly chemo treatments for brain cancer. My mom-in-law is wearing a neck brace because of a rare deterioration of the spinal column at the base of her neck. My little grand-baby is fighting the feverish flu this week. And there are so many other prayer requests that lay heavy on my heart. Life is messy. Sometimes it is ugly. But life is only what we have for the moment. Love the ones that you have to love. Do Christmas because God first loved us, by sending His one and only son into the world to show us His love. Believe the Christ of Christmas.